Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lovely Rita

The absolute joy of having a holiday at home is being able to stay up past 9.30 and enjoy the fantastic programmes hidden in the very dark hours by the myopic programmers at TVNZ. Last night I was spellbound by Gaylene Preston's 'Lovely Rita'. What a treat, a beautifully crafted look at the life of a fantastic NZ artist. I was mesmerised by the images on the screen and looked at the very familiar paintings with fresh eyes. I realised how many of Rita's images, I see everyday in prints hanging at work and various other places. Paintings that I return to regularly without really taking in who painted them.
Gaylene Preston makes everything she touches magic. This programme was another step in my soul feeding holiday venture.
Here are some images I uploaded to share.
Boats, Island Bay
Fog, Hawkes Bay



(voted NZ's favourite painting-I never go through this part of the country without thinking about this painting)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Home Alone

The unimaginable has happened. I am at home alone. No one here but me and the radio...and might I say a house load of junk and disorderly to attend to. Instead of house work and washing hanging out, I am playing on Flickr. Nic is at the bach with Ruth and Simon for the night and Jonty is at work. I fully intend to get on with the chores but thought I would read a magazine and then do some work but got side tracked by the computer, as you do and here I am, blogging. I could chat about Christmas and say how good it was (because it was) but instead I am going to post a little mosaic of pics from the day. Obviously the trampoline took centre stage and much of our time was spent in the garden and outside at various peoples places.

From the top left

Nic and Jasmine on the trampoline. Dad, Liz and Mother at Ruth's..everyone looked very lovely in their Christmas clothes, Nic's Christmas decoration on the table at breakfast

Nic and Jasmine on the trampoline, Nic and Eva (cousin of a cousin) on Christmas Eve, dinner outside on the 23rd

Jonty and Nic on the trampoline, Marie-Anne on the trampoline, Olivia and Nic at the specially decorated children's table at Ruth's on Christmas day.

(I did and do spend time on the trampoline but am camera shy at the moment)

If this mosaic works out I might use it again. Hope you all had a lovely family Christmas as we did.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Still on the Christmas Countdown

The list to do is definitely shrinking as we tick off a range of social events. Yesterday was the big one for us. We hosted 30 people (15 children) for a pot luck lunch for Karen and Justy who are in town. A nice mixture of friends enjoyed a very sunny, if not a little windy, afternoon in our back yard.
It was a bit of a mission for us and we fell into bed shattered but great fun. We love having parties and with all our work in the garden recently it was great to see people relaxing and enjoying themselves. Poor Nic struggled a bit with the day as he is beyond tired but overall it was great. Best bit was Jasmine arriving for Christmas. I cooked a delicious meal of fried ciabatta, Greek sausages in a fragrant tomato sauce and a Greek salad, accompanied by a fruity Riverstone Riesling and settled into the familiar family pattern. Starting to feel really Christmassy now.

The list

  • Go to work - alas - there are no street noises outside so I am guessing there are very few people going to work today. I am going to bike as it has been too hard to manage that this week and I NEED the exercise.

  • Get a chicken for family xmas dinner tonight - making Cinnamon Chicken with Lemon Jam - mmmm

That's all -
We had party popper as well as jelly and ice cream cups and candy canes yesterday. Nic and Olivia loved playing with the streamers...alas Nic thought making streamer volcanoes int he lounge would be fun, and I am sure it was. Bit of a mess though.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Countdown #3

Well, this is really working. Not. I have managed to achieve most of the tasks on my list but the whole list thing has gone out the door as I have just managed to collapse on to the sofa Wednesday and Thursday after two very long and stressful days at work. So, nothing to report just a total lack of attention to my pre-Christmas duties. I still have a few presents to buy also.

The list for today

  • Finish the Christmas shopping
  • Start in on the ironing mountain
  • Start cleaning the house....
  • Watch 'Americas next top model'....I feel like I have just 'come out' admitting that I love watching this programme.
As this list can't really be tackled until the end of the working day, it is unlikely I will achieve the whole list. Doesn't look like much but it is really.

While watching telly last night all the standard Christmas movie fare was being advertised. Will it be the Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special this year?

So what do we have to chose from so far...
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Bend it Like Beckham
  • Notting Hill
  • Love Actually
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • The Polar Express
  • Meet the Santas
  • Robbie the Reindeer
  • Bad Santa
  • Santa in love
  • Santa Actually
  • Christmas with Santa
  • Bend it like Santa......and so on

I actually love (or is that love actually?) the Christmas movies. They are easy to watch, you know what happens because you have seen them 1,000 times before, the people are all warm and cozy and the decorations are fantastic. So, my picks are 'Love Actually' and 'Notting Hill.' Very predictable. Write your favourite Christmas movie in the comments box. It is ok to reveal your secret to the Internet, know one knows who you are. So share...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Countdown #2

So, the Christmas list for Tuesday comprised very few items but with a bit of thinking and things attached
  • Contact friends who are coming over for lunch on Sunday

  • Make list of children and devise treasure hunt

  • Plan the menu

Contact friends - tick

Ooops, side tracked by the offer of a movie with Alex. Why wouldn't I do that? Just what I needed after a hard day at the office.

We went to see 'Once' - it was just the loveliest film. I don't really want to talk about it but you can see the wiki entry for it by clicking on the name. I don't read reviews until I have been to a movie because I like to discover it for myself. Movies and music feed my soul and I need to do that more often.

My Jonty is a wonderful man. I arrived home after 6 and then was out the door again by 6.30. I feel so grateful to have a partner who is so kind.

Anyway, enough of the sloppy stuff...the Christmas 'to do' list is getting longer with each passing I have to do the ironing and all the things I didn't do yesterday plus my new list today and I have a LOT on at work. Perhaps I will lighten my load. We'll see.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Countdown

With no parties or Christmas festivities planned for the weekdays this week, it is time to start knocking off the pre-Christmas tasks

  • Make the Christmas cake
  • Dead head the roses
  • Wrap the rest of the presents
  • Start in on the ironing mountain

Nic was my trusty kitchen helper and director of photography... here are the shots he chose

Two hours of cooking and it should be delicious.

Forgot to say

Forgot to say the other day that we have a brief but very enjoyable visit from Jasmine and Dave ... the elusive one ... last weekend. We were a pit stop on their flying visit to CHC for a party. Although only a few hours together it was great. Just like if they lived here and were just popping around. As the morning heated up we slowly assembled outdoor furniture on the drive and food appeared and we just hung out. I love days like that - set up for cruising in and out of the house, picking dead heads off the roses, shovelling dirt and receiving other visitors as the pass by. All just perfectly lovely family stuff. Sorry Jasmine, not the best photo of you but considering you hit the bed after 3am, you were doing well

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pimp my tree

I am up super early this morning because my time clock has no respect for my need for sleep. Although it is now 6.30, I have already logged into work email and knocked off a few, been to airnz to check for cheap flights, written an email to Karen and a few other things. I am focusing on the 26th of December as my next opportunity to sleep in and man, I am not getting out of bed until I am dragged out. Might put clean sheets on the bed on Christmas night so I can REALLY enjoy sleeping in.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love Christmas trees. Needless to say we got one last week and had to drive around looking for one and it had to be the RIGHT one. It is one of the very few things Jonty and I might have words over. Often not pleasant. Crazy I know, but we all have our 'thing'. So, we got the tree...gorgeous of course... and it fitted and sits in the lounge. As an aside, it is really worth painting your lounge walls red, just to see how really excellent the tree looks every Christmas, against a red background.

Nick and I set about scattering baubles, tinsel and the insane Chinese lights I bought off Trademe all over it and we had a great time doing so. We decided to theme various sections. Bells at the top...last year I planted them at Nicholas height so I could hear when he was tampering with the tree. The blue/green OTT layer is next and then red and gold baubles. Finally Nicholas' decorations at his height. And as he chose most of them, they are large and gaudy. Red tulle and gold satin were also draped around the pot. Sound bright, out of balance and crazy? Well, yes indeed it is. You just have to laugh at the craziness of it.

The darling, perfectly formed tree looks like a slut! However, it is entertaining.
Nic has pretty much free reign to play with and reorganise his range of decorations and he is using that opportunity to advantage. I often come home to a portion of the decorations lovingly lined up along the coffee table or the floor. The novelty is starting to wear off now and the call of 'Bob the builder computer colour ins' has won over the tree...for a while. Last night I wrapped most of my presents and have placed just one square present temptingly under the tree. I wonder what Nic will have to say. Could be too cruel to do that soooo many days out but it will be fun to see how he reacts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My roses are just lovely this year

I don't know why but I am loving it...

Pearl D'ore (I think)


Glamis Castle

Bunch of random things

There is so much random stuff roaming around in my head at the moment and a few days ago I composed a really good blog entry in my head as I was biking to work but now it has all disappeared. Such is the nature of my overburdened brain. Anyway, I am going to punctuate my ramblings with some random photos just to make this entry a tiny bit more interesting and to break up the text.
I have been playing around with some of the features available on Blogspot and have managed to add some links to the right of where you are looking. These are some of my favourite places to visit. Mostly Blogs of interest and inspiration and some other work related places that you might find interesting too.

Christmas is looming and presents are starting to arrive from the UK which is fun. We have sent one load off but were not quite finished so others will arrive late. I am finding it really hard to get myself organised for present buying. It is a bit about time but also capacity. However, it might pay to make a last minute dash to the present line because there are more sales appearing before Christmas and you can get great stuff if you are prepared. Nic and granny Rosemary headed to Ballantynes Christmas shop this week to seek out a special decoration for our tree. Nic selected a Santa in a helium balloon...very 'new' Christmas.

I was wandering through Whitcoulls the other day when they announced 'buy one book and get another half price'. Having planned to buy a book for someone anyway, I took the opportunity to get myself Jamie Oliver's 'At home' for $25...a bargain. I have already cooked one of the recipes and unsurprisingly, it was delicious!

If you want to read a really funny, irreverent and smart blog, check out Moata's blog. Cleverly, Moata won NZ Blog Idol on Stuff and every few days posts a very much anticipated entry. I read them and then we chat about them at lunch when our paths cross. That is the really weird thing about 'social networking' on the Internet...reading peoples stuff and then ringing them up or catching them at their desk to talk about their entries. Like texting someone in the room with you.

We are getting another new sofa. Last year we spent a kings ransom on a gorgeous dark coffee colour leather sofa the size of a small African nation. The other day as I was lying on it watching Outrageous Fortune, I noticed some damage to the leather that was natural and not the work of a small boy. We took the cushion back to Hunter Furniture and they are REPLACING THE WHOLE SOFA and the other one to match!!! So shocked am I that I am thinking of writing to FairGo and trumpeting the service. You might think that it should have been perfect to start with...agreed. However, leather is a natural product and is there is always a degree of error in perform ace to be expected. I thought a new cushion would do the trick but no, a new sofa. This could be great, but it might not be because I love the ones we have now and a new one will not be the same.

Later in the day....

Back from Christmas shopping. Did not buy one thing but it was nice to be out and about in a very quiet Christchurch. I guess most people with children were cowering at home waiting to head to the city for the Santa Parade. Alas, our poor son knows nothing of the parade as we didn't tell him about it.

My workmate Simon won 'Best Porn Star Mo' at the Christchurch Movember event the other day. Mild mannered business analyst and accountant by day....

I hate it when I lose people in my life for whatever reason - usually carelessness. Fortunately most of the people I have lost have not disappeared all together, just momentarily out of range. One such person, through no effort on my part, popped up in my life again the other day. I was very excited and continue to be so. Let's hope it is a trend that will continue.

Thought you might like to see the new look bach colour scheme...very Mediterranean